Doctor arrested for killing 900 babies in illegal sex-selective abortions

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A doctor in India has been arrested for committing 900 illegal sex-selective abortions over a three-year period. He aborted about 20 girls each month, presumably because they were female.

Dr. Chandan Ballal was arrested by Bengaluru police, along with a receptionist, and Ballal’s assistant Nisar, the manager of the hospital where they committed the abortions. Another doctor, identified only as Tulasiram, was also arrested.

Local media reported that the police were tipped off to the scheme when they caught Shivalinge Gowda and Nayan Kumar, two suspects transporting a pregnant woman. Under interrogation, they admitted that the group would arrange for women to be taken to a jaggery unit — a place where sugar is refined in Asia — which was instead being used as an ultrasound center. The ultrasound machine was meant to be used only with authorization from the District Health Office (DHO) and police believe the machine was sourced from an electronic goods repairer identified as Siddesh. It is believed to be a machine that had been junked and then repaired by Siddesh, which is allegedly avoiding the police.

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“Users must register the machine. In this case, too, the machine was duly registered because there was no other way of procuring it. But we need to investigate how it ended up with the gang. This will become clear only after Siddesh is arrested,” police said. “The machine can be junked only through the authorised officer. It’s highly unlikely that it was thrown away randomly.”

Officers explained that Tulasiram’s mother had been an abortionist, and he followed her lead, committing abortions to make money on the side. One person, identified as TM Vereesh, was given a commission if he identified couples who were unhappy with the sex of their preborn child, and referred them to the gendercide ring.

Sex-selective abortions are incredibly common in Asia, and in India and China specifically, where they have caused horrific consequences. Men outnumber women by roughly 70 million, and though sex-selective abortion is illegal, it still happens; it is believed that at least 13.5 million girls were aborted in India between 1987-2016 alone.

“Families want a son at any cost. Any cost!” one woman who was forced into a sex-selective abortion said. “If I die [today], my husband will remarry tomorrow morning, hoping the next woman will give birth to a son.”

Arrested suspects have been charged under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act and IPC Section 312 (causing miscarriage).

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